Smith: team did us proud
Six swimmers won a total of 16 medals when they represented Bermuda in the Mallard’s Long Course Challenge last weekend at the Pan American Games Pool in Markham, Ontario.
The local swimmers competed in 51 events, with 47 of the swims being personal best times. Daria Desmond won two gold and a silver while Bella Howes brought back six medals, a gold and five silver. Chelsea Lomas won a silver and a bronze and Rhys Insley a gold and four bronze. The other two members of the team were Abigail Powell and Tayla Horan.
“We only had a team of six swimmers but they did us proud with their results,” Ben Smith, the national coach, said. “This competition was organised to be an opportunity to further develop our young athletes as they prepare for future meets.
“They were able to go through the process of warming up in a pool with hundreds of other swimmers, competing against competition that they have not faced, while going through the challenges that come up during a large meet.
“I am so proud of the performance of these athletes as they came together as a team with great spirit, enthusiasm and fast swimming.”
The team that travelled to Canada had their flight back to Bermuda on Monday cancelled, leaving them unable to return home until tomorrow. Smith, who is travelling with the Bermuda team to Nassau, Bahamas for the Carifta Championships, is now in Miami waiting to join the team, who leave the island today before this weekend’s competition.
A total of 15 swimmers will be representing Bermuda, with Madelyn Moore and Jesse Washington leading Bermuda’s medal bid at the Betty Kelly-Kenning National Swim Complex. It will be Washington’s seventh and final championships.
Two notable absentees are Shannon Hassell and Emma Harvey because of school commitments. Harvey won four gold medals as Bermuda brought back 22 medals from last year’s championships in Martinique.
Elan Daley, who has been setting records in Canada, where she resides, will be competing in her first competition.
Despite being one of the team’s youngest swimmers, Smith is excited about her inclusion.
“With the amount of records she has been breaking recently, she’ll be one to watch, as well as Sam Williamson who has also been breaking records,” Smith told The Royal Gazette recently.
The Bermuda team will include two of the three Daley siblings, with older brother Ethan competing in the 15-17 age group. He was selected last year, but was unable to make the trip. Younger brother Elijah is still not old enough to compete at Carifta.
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